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Doomsday Machine
Armageddon 1975 / Doomsday

USA 1972
produced by
Harry Hope, Oscar Nichols (executive) for First Leisure
directed by Harry Hope, Lee Sholem
starring Bobby Van, Ruta Lee, Mala Powers, James Craig, Grant Williams, Henry Wilcoxon, Essie Lin Chia, Casey Kasem, Lori Scott, Denny Miller, Mike Farrell, John Cestare, Raymond Mayo, Frank Gambina, Mark Bailey, Leo Ramirez, Anthony Loder, Win De Lugo, Gábor Curtiz, Mary Meade French, Josh Peine, Steven Roberts, Michael Christian, Robert Swan, Ted Markland, Karl Bruck, Skip Battyn
written by Stuart J.Byrne, special effects by David L.Hewitt

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The American secret service ahs just found out that the Chinese have started the Doomsday Machine, a machine that causes a chain reaction that will ultimately destroy earth ... so gouvernment officials decide to use a spaceship to Venus as a kind of modern Noah's Ark, replacing almost half of the male crew of the probe with women ...

In the spaceship, tensions between the male and female members of the expedition soon arise, especially since only two female members - Doc Turner (Ruta Lee) and Major Bronski (Mala Powers) - know about their real purpose of their mission ... but when the whole crew sees earth explode, that's a shock for everyone, especially Captain Mason (Grant Williams), who from now on desperately tries to act as the Alpha male and rape Lt Carlson (Lori Scott), even though he's more shell-shocked than the rest of them.

Eventually, the scientist of the expedition, the slightly older Doc Perry (Henry Wilcoxon) finds out the spaceship is too heavy to actually make it into Venus' atmosphere and figures four of them have to go ... which eventually leads to Mason getting into a fight with Carlson which accidently sucks them both out of the airlock. With two crewmembers gone already, Commander Price (Denny Miller) decides to risk it and try to enter Venus' atmosphere with five men (and women) aboard - but in the last minute, the probe needs some outside fixing, and even though that means he couldn't get back in in time for descending to Venus, Danny (Bobby Van) agrees to do the job ... and Major Bronski, who has fallen in love with him, decides to help him on a whim, even if that means she can't join the landing party neither.

Once their fate seems sealed, Danny and Bronski find themselves in luck though, when they find a Russian Venus probe nearby that might be manned by a corpse but is still functioning.

Entering the atmosphere, the spaceship of commander Price and co is destroyed though, while the collective consciousness of Venus tells Danny and Bronski, last of the humans, that they cannot land on the planet, but a great future awaits them at the fringes of the universe or something ...


What a silly film. Granted, it might reflect cold war fears, but the whole Noah's Ark storyline is a bit far-fetched to say the least. The whole thing is of course not helped by an uninspired directorial effort, an unremarkable script and unmotivated actors either. What makes this film kind of funny though is that it uses special effects scenes from Wizards of Mars and the Japanese end-of-the-world flick Gorath - including spaceflight sequences from both films, and the spaceships in the two movies look so remarkably little alike it's almost hilarious. Also, the film was originally shot in 1967, but then money ran out and production was resumed five years later, and the added espionage footage is ill at ease with the space opera storyline.

All of this makes the film sort of endearing on a so-bad-it's-good level, but be warned, it's nto the best bad film you've ever seen.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD